Overall, I found this group installation project to be challenging yet rewarding at the same time. The rewarding aspect was that it was our first creative collaborative project as opposed to our previous group research based projects. I was able to see other people’s artistic style and work approach which was eye opening. The challenging aspect was ensuring that everyone pulled their weight instead of just leaching and then getting the same recognition for doing less work than everyone else. I personally feel that I made a huge contribution to the group throughout the entire aspects of initiating the idea, developing and refining it and construction of the final installation, maybe more than needed. I feel that there was one or two in the group that made rather little contribution but at the end of the day, everyone played their part in creating this installation.
At this point, our initial concept of having the piece show communication had gone out the window. We were focusing more on having the piece show the past, present and future. But our main focus wasn’t on the meaning or having some super deep meaning to it, but rather to have the piece be aesthetically pleasing to us, not necessarily to everyone else.
We then had to present our idea to the class and the lecturers who were all confused by the concept for two reasons: 1. The general feedback was that the meaning was not deep enough 2. Might be too many components to the piece.
In response to the feedback, we as a group felt deflated. I personally felt frustrated because the idea and concept was clear to us. I also felt frustrated because we had already put a lot of time and effort into the construction of the components.
As a collective, we were confused, deflated and stuck. We were very unsure of how to move forward with our installation piece and on what the final outcome would actually be and look like. We then decided to take out this confusion, deflation and sense of being stuck in a rut out on the boxes. We just wanted to destroy them and take out all our emotions on them.
We then decided that we would film ourselves destroying the boxes and that this video would be the key aspect of our final installation. The entire process of the destruction was very spontaneous and little thought went into the meaning being the actions. However, each action portrayed an aspect of each of us individually. Because however it was that we deciding to destroy the boxes was influenced by each of our individual backgrounds.
Everyone in the group participated in the destruction of the boxes
After the destruction was done, we were left with the visual aftermath of the boxes which was all dirty, torn up, squashed and rigid looking.
Myself, Alex and Tyrone then went to look at the installation space ahead of time before other groups. We then decided that we wanted to be in the space called The Fridge. This space is large enough and actually resembles a box in itself to me
I felt that the destroyed boxes represented the journey of life. With the boxes being prepared so delicately and kept to be in pristine condition paying reference to childhood. The destruction then represents the saying “life happens”, paying homage to the rough patches that one goes through. And the aftermath then shows the aftermath of those rough patches. I then felt that it’s only right to do something with the destroyed boxes to show the beauty that emerges from those rough patches but also just the beauty of life at the end of the day.
I was then glad that the group decided to create some sort of sculpture out of the destroyed boxes that would compliment the video.
Experimenting with the sculpture:
The paint dripping idea was inspired by graffiti street artist Mr Brainwash
Clip from 2.10 to 2.49
We decided to go with the paint drip concept. Tyrone executed this idea and brought it to life
In terms of the video, we split up the editing responsibilities. I first did a ‘test edit’ just to see how the clips would fit together etc. Tyrone then did some editing, followed by Diego and Juhi.
When running our initial concept past Richard and Kristy, they suggested that it would be a good idea to make the installation a mobile piece.
Through this piece of guidance, we came up with the following concept:
Instead of having the archways, we would have a two stacks of cardboard boxes that would act as pillars that the masks would be projected onto. At this point we pushed the concept of having a water feature to the side in order to focus on getting started with the making process of the entire piece and we could come back to the water feature at a later point. We decided that we would spray paint the boxes white and draw the doodles directly onto the boxes rather than onto the masks. To us, we felt that this would give the illusion of having the doodles be inside of the projected masks as opposed to on them.
Also the masks would have 4 faces and would be filmed spinning so that each face would be visible.
We had concerns about spray painting the boxes because of the inclination of the paint being absorbed by the cardboard. Through my experimentation with the spray paint and Tyrone’s experimentation of a back up option of wrapping the boxes in paper, we decided to opt with the back up option of wrapping the boxes.
My trial using spray paint
Tyrone’s trial using paper to wrap the boxes
Even though the spray paint didn’t absorb, the aesthetic of the box was not what we we’re after. It wasn’t as crisp as we would’ve liked it to be and the tape used to construct the box also gave it a weird look. Also buying spray paint to paint the boxes was not cost effective. So by wrapping the boxes, we were supplied paper to do so which meant we didn’t have to spend any money. Everyone in the group collected boxes and wrapped them together, collectively having over 30 boxes.
Alex, Tyrone, Diego and I then went on to doodle on some of the boxes
Also at this time, Tyrone put the frame masks together so that we could see what it’d look like if we had a physical mask present
Tyrone and I then paper mached the masks, we had two of the four sided heads to do
When deciding on our initial idea, we started with the base of deciding on a quote and image that was used to start off our individual concepts. We decided on the image of the zen garden and the quote of “Ka Mua Ka Muri” which means “We walk into the future backwards”. What we liked about this particular image and quote, is the peaceful nature the image brings to the somewhat heavy topic of looking to the past to guide us in the future.
Using this, we decided to pull on each of our premade individual concepts. Tyrone had a concept involving facial masks and Alex had a concept involving a structure that formed over water. Using this we came with following concept:
We were then given exhibition space of the library foyer:
Using this space, we adjusted our concept to the space available:
Using the archways to enter the space, we would put the masks on each pillar facing each other. Then have a painting of water in the middle of the archways.
This would be projected onto the pillars in the form of a photograph. At this point we were unsure if the water feature would be projected as well or be a physical piece in the room.
The idea played into the concept of communication and information being passed on. The archways connect the two ‘people’ (the masks) so the information being passed on is constantly in somewhat of a loop. The water would reference the stream of information and people being passed alongside without the literal communication that the masks represent.
Our idea is unintentionally leading us in a ‘contemporary art’ direction.
We decided that we would utilize each of our individual skills and interests within this idea and through the construction of it. Using Tyrone’s paper-mache and sculpture skills to construct the masks, Diego’s drawing skills to draw into the masks. Juhi’s painting skills to construct the water feature. And Alex and I would combine our filming, photography and editing skills to construct the moving image aspect of the projection. It was important to us from the beginning that with whatever we made, we would all be able to incorporate our individual skills and interests into the work.
We then went onto explore various ways to display the masks and the concept we’re trying to get across; constant communication and information being passed between people back and forth:
The masks we could use to paper ache are shown above
We liked the idea of the mask having multiple facades; either two or four so we decided to carry out this concept. The masks would have doodles on them. We then did some research on the doodles that would be on the masks so that theyre not simple white masks on a wall by artists Andrew J. Steel, Trevor Andrews, Cope2 and Marceli Grace.
Andrew J. Steel
We also considered the position of the water aspect on the work:
Considering all of this, we settled on the masks having multiple facades. To achieve this in a visual aspect, we thought that having a moving image rather than a photograph would be best. We could have the heads spinning in the projection, that all all of the facades are seen. In terms of the water feature, we would have it be a physical aspect rather than be apart of the projection. We couldn’t settle on how the water would visually be displayed though.
Through initiating our concept, everyone played an equal part in communicating their ideas and giving input and feedback to the group.